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I'm searching an existing hash function or trying to make a hash function that has a lot of collisions.

Regularly a hash is used for it's ability to create unique hashes for hash tables or security purposes, but I desire the opposite. I desire a hash function that has allot of collisions. Preferably a simplistic hash function so finding a collision is easier/faster.

By the definition of a hash function. The hashes also have a predetermined length. I'd like a hash function that has this as a variable.

I'm new to this subject so I'm searching sources to create a hash function myself or candidate's that might fulfill the requirements.

If I have definition or terms wrong, please correct me.

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    Does this answer your question? Which hashing algorithm is best for uniqueness and speed? – gnat Jul 12 at 12:53
  • No, that question asks for a hash function that produces a lot of unique hashes, I desire the opposite as my question says. A hash function that contains a lot of collisions... – Noah Snoeks Jul 12 at 12:55
  • What kind of data are you hashing? If it is strings you could take the first character as your hash code. – Martin Maat Jul 12 at 13:14
  • Im hashing a string, but it's necessary to hash the whole string not just the first character – Noah Snoeks Jul 12 at 13:51
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    Why do you want collisions? The trivial hash function h(x) = 0 would have a colliding hash for everything. More reasonably, you can take a good hash function and chop off unneeded bits until you get the desired collision rate. – amon Jul 12 at 14:27
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The probability of collisions is ratio between how many items you have and what size the output hash is.

If you have 1024 items (10 bits) and hash outputs 8 bits, you would expect 4 items (2^(10-8)) to have same hash and thus 4 collisions.

And there are plenty of hash functions with low amount of output bits. Like a trivial Pearson Hash. And it being trivial and easy to understand, it should be easy to modify it to have variable bit output size.

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  • To clarify, it will be (on average) 4 items for each of the 256 possible hash values, not just 4 collisions total. – 8bittree Jul 13 at 16:33
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Here is an example of a hash function that has the properties you desire:

H(message, outputLength) = 1 << outputLength

  • It is clearly a hash function, since it maps a larger input space to a smaller output space.
  • It has the maximum possible performance for every possible sequence of inputs.
  • It has the maximum possible amount of collisions for every possible sequence of inputs.
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